The Bardi Interviews: In Conversation with John Florance

For the sixth and final interview in our series the interviewer becomes the interviewee as the attention turns to Dr John Florance ambassador to the Bardi orchestras. A long-time supporter and friend to the Orchestra, John gives some fascinating insights into his early life, his career in education and latterly work as a BBC broadcaster. A regular for Bardi pre-concert talks at De Montfort Hall, John travelled with the Bardi Orchestra on tours to Russia, Prague and Germany, and the thoughtful selection of photographs and reminiscences brought back happy memories to many Bardi players.

To hear John’s selected pieces you can pause the video and listen to the music in the Spotify player below. Alternatively, click here to watch the video on YouTube where you can find links to all the pieces in the video description.

8. A Christmas Festival – Leroy Anderson. Bardi Wind Orchestra 2019 recording conducted by David Calow.


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The Bardi Interviews: In Conversation with David Calow

For the fifth in our series of interviews the focus turns to David Calow, conductor of the Bardi Wind Orchestra. David was born and educated in Leicestershire, receiving his early musical training from the Leicestershire School of Music and played flute and piccolo in The National Youth Wind Orchestra from 1978-84. David became Music Director and Conductor of the Bardi Wind Orchestra in 1995 and has conducted every concert since. In 2007 he was appointed Associate Conductor of the Rutland Sinfonia and has continued to develop the adventurous concert programming with the orchestra. In January 2015 David was appointed Music Director and Conductor of the Clarendon Park Orchestra, an enthusiastic group of local musicians. As well David’s a wide-ranging interest in classical music, the interview features music from another of his great interests, music theatre. In 1995 he was appointed Music Director of the I.D.O.L.S Operatic Group in Leicester for their Little Theatre production of South Pacific. Over the following ten years he directed shows including Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Mack and Mabel and Kiss Me Kate.

To hear David’s selected pieces you can pause the video and listen to the music in the Spotify player below. Alternatively, click here to watch the video on YouTube where you can find links to all the pieces in the video description.


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The Bardi Interviews: In Conversation with Jane Hanson

The Bardi Interviews continue as we meet the Orchestra’s Chair Jane Hanson. An enthusiastic member of the first violin section, Jane joined the orchestra on moving to Leicester in 2017 and became Chair of the Orchestra in December 2020. Like many of the Bardi’s players she trained as a professional musician but chose to pursue a career elsewhere. She started in accountancy but more recently has been a Chairman, Non-Executive Director and Audit and Risk Committee Chair in a number of businesses and has over 25 years experience working at Board level in FTSE 100, regulated, typically financial sector organisations. In addition, she is the Honorary Treasurer and a Trustee of the Disasters Emergency Committee, a global humanitarian charity and is also a magistrate. Jane’s playlist choices are wide-ranging and reflective of a lifelong passion for all kinds of music. 

To hear Jane’s selected pieces you can pause the video and listen to the music in the Spotify player below. Alternatively, click here to watch the video on YouTube where you can find links to all the pieces in the video description.


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The Bardi Interviews: In Conversation with Robert Calow

For the third of our Bardi Interviews the spotlight is turned on our Orchestra Manager Robert Calow. Lynchpin of the orchestra’s activities, and well-known in Leicester and Leicestershire music circles, Robert received his early musical training on the Clarinet at the Leicestershire School of Music and then with the National Youth Wind Orchestra from 1978-84. He joined the Bardi Symphony Orchestra in 1988 and is also in great demand playing with several local orchestras including the Rutland Sinfonia, Knighton Chamber Orchestra and the wind ensemble Musicamici. In 1992 Robert, together with his brother David, founded the Bardi Wind Orchestra. He has held the post of Orchestra Manager of both ensembles for over 30 years. John Florance discussed his life, career and wide-ranging musical tastes from Wagner and Elgar to 1960’s TV themes and Rick Wakeman!

To hear Robert’s selected pieces you can pause the video and listen to the music in the Spotify player below. Alternatively, click here to watch the video on YouTube where you can find links to all the pieces in the video description.

You can view Robert’s final selection, the Elgar excerpt, by clicking here.


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The Bardi Interviews: In Conversation with Adam Summerhayes

In the second of The Bardi Interviews, John Florance talks to orchestra Leader Adam Summerhayes. They discuss his career in music from his days playing with the Leicestershire Schools Symphony Orchestra, through the Guildhall School of Music and conducting his own chamber orchestra in London to his travels around the world with the acclaimed baroque instrumental group ‘Red Priest’ who are noted for their flamboyant theatrical and virtuosic style. In a wide ranging discussion we learn how Adam came to take up the violin at an early age being taught by his grandfather, that he is not a player to be pigeonholed into a specific style of music and that his real love is the violin itself. His affection for the Bardi Symphony Orchestra, which he has led for many years, comes through very clearly and his choices of music are, as might be expected, eclectic and fascinating.

To hear Adam’s selected pieces you can pause the video and listen to the music in the Spotify player below. Alternatively, click here to watch the video on YouTube where you can find links to all the pieces in the video description.

8. Adam’s eighth musical choice is available on YouTube here: To The Nightingale – Words of a Fiddler’s Daughter


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The Bardi Interviews: In Conversation with Claus Efland

In the first of our new series ‘The Bardi Interviews’, John Florance talks to Music Director Claus Efland about his career in music beginning with a fascination at a very early age, in his native Denmark, with the music of Johann Strauss in New Years Day concerts from Vienna. He describes the occasion when he took up a toy baton and conducted his orchestra of teddy bears, a far cry from his work today as an award winning internationally known conductor in Europe and further afield. His choices of music range from Mozart and Grieg to a beautiful but hitherto unknown Danish song, and topics covered range from insights into the art of conducting, his career history to what he has been doing at his home in Berlin whilst, like the rest of us, in lockdown.   

To hear Claus’s selected pieces you can pause the video and listen to the music in the Spotify player below. Alternatively, click here to watch the video on YouTube where you can find links to all the pieces in the video description.


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